Monthly Archives: September 2012

Oooooh, I sense another Fashion Week trend! After the Qatari sovereign wealth fund bought Harrod’s in 2010, and an un-named Qatari bought a large minority chunk of Anya Hindmarch in August – and following the Qatari royal Family’s purchase of Valentino the month before — now a private equity fund, AGC, backed by Middle Eastern investors, has taken the bulk of the minority stake in UK ready-to-wear brand Amanda Wakeley, a go-to label for the Duchess of Cambridge (that’s her, wearing AW, in both photos below). Does no one else think something significant is going on? Read more

New York Fashion Week? What’s that? This morning – the last of NYFW — London was in the news, as both Burberry and TopShop announced major new technology initiatives. Though they are generating a lot of buzz around the brands, I can’t help but wonder about the direction all of this is taking. Read more

This morning at the Holmes & Yang presentation at Lincoln Center — the brand’s first on the official schedule — co-designer Katie Holmes looked kind of nervous, standing next to her partner, Jeanne Yang. Presumably this was partly due to all the people around them passing judgement on their work. But partly it probably also had to do with the knowledge of the same people passing judgement on their tabloid value. It’s a weird position to be in: wanting people to come see the clothes, and wanting to push some away at the same time.
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The sky is falling! The sky is falling! This tends to be the reaction lately every time a luxury brand reports worse-than-expected earnings. It happened last June with Mulberry, and now it is happening with Burberry. Yet I am not convinced it’s time to call the end of luxury. Read more

One of the biggest trends to come out of New York fashion week thus far has been the use of once-famous, formerly-retired, suddenly-resurrected models. Naomi Campbell opened Zac Posen’s show, followed by Isabeli Fontana; Marimekko had Carol Alt, Pat Cleveland and Carmen Dell’Orefice; and Alexander Wang had Liberty Ross, who now lives in California, and recently made headlines when her husband, Rupert Sanders, had an affair with actress Kristin Stewart. When these women appear on the catwalk they generally get lots of applause, but I wonder who actually is benefitting from the relationship?
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Today’s fashion consumer welcomes global design references, says Diane von Furstenberg. The fashion designer talks at New York Fashion Week to the FT’s Vanessa Friedman about the inspiration of palaces in her latest dress design, China and fighting piracy

My favourite fashion week moment so far, three days into the start of the New York collections, has to be Diane von Furstenberg pulling Sergey Brin out of his front-row seat and onto her catwalk to take her victory bow with her and her creative director, Yvan Mispelaere at the end of her show. And all three of them were wearing Google glass in different colours! I feel a new accessory category coming on. Read more

Mitt Romney wavering between red and blue ties, Paul Ryan’s ill-fitting suits, Barack Obama’s undone knots, Michelle Obama’s move away from Oscar de la Renta and Ann Romney’s embrace of the same – all the sartorial talk during the Republican and Democratic conventions of the past two weeks. Does any of it really matter?

Shouldn’t we focus on the debate, reality and fantasy surrounding the candidates – on Medicare, abortion, taxes, the euro and the renminbi? Isn’t this obsessive litany and analysis of what our public figures wear and how they wear it unseemly, old-fashioned, sexist (there was much more comment on Ann Romney’s red dress than her husband’s red tie) and superficial?

Here’s a small pictorial preview of Anna Della Russo’s accessories collection for H&M, which goes on-sale Oct 4, and which she was wearing at Jason Wu’s show in New York. Read more

In one of those cosmic coincidences of timing, the last night of the Democratic convention, where President Obama talked often about the long hard, road ahead, also coincided with Fashion’s Night Out, that sybaritic extravaganza of shopping and schmoozing (well, mostly schmoozing, if you listen to retailers who Do Not Want to be Named) that also happened to mark the first day of New York Fashion Week. It made for a pretty powerful contrast. STill, my favourite fashion moment was not the Karaoke at Michael Kors, but rather what was on stage at the DNC, from Mr O’s tie to Mrs O’s new designer. Read more